to feel a bit upset at nurse's comment

(73 Posts)
almostheadgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:01:25

It would be great to get your perspective on this as I admit I may have been over-sensitive.
Joined a new GP practice this week. The nurse did all the usual checks, BP, height, urine etc - then she asks me to pop on the scales. No problem...Now, I have been working hard at losing the baby weight, am finally very happy with my size and consider myself to be reasonably 'back to normal' (ish!). I'm almost 5ft 9 and weigh 10 stone. She looks at the scales and goes "Hmmmm, not bad."
I felt quite upset. I said to her, I am almost 5ft 9... and she just smiled. It just struck me as a bit insensitive. I don't think I'm in any way over weight?! Is it just me being sleep deprived and pathetic to feel a bit insulted by this?

bobot Thu 06-Mar-14 22:02:44

Don't let it bother you. She was being silly if she meant anything by it, at that weight and height you're at the very bottom of the healthy range.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 06-Mar-14 22:04:13

She was thoughtless but I would not let it get to you.

Janethegirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:04:50

I'm 5ft 3 and would love to be 10 stone or less, let it go. If you would be happier weighing less, go for it but only if you want to, not because you feel other people thing you should....does that make sense??

Fantissue Thu 06-Mar-14 22:05:19

Did you want a big "Well Done!"? What is she supposed to say?

Janethegirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:05:24


scarffiend Thu 06-Mar-14 22:05:27

I think you're being a bit over sensitive, that's a perfectly healthy weight, and brilliant considering there's baby wright involved! Middle finger up to the nurse for being dismissive x

curiousuze Thu 06-Mar-14 22:05:31

I don't see that she insulted you or called you overweight. Do you have issues around weight in general?

almostheadgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:05:36

Thanks Bebot - I do feel a bit daft giving it any more thought. Grrrr - I'd understand if I was over-weight and she was trying to be nice, but it just fed insecurity of a new-ish mum.

quietlysuggests Thu 06-Mar-14 22:05:43

I think you are sleep deprived and sensitive.
It is very very hard working with the public when every single comment or facial expression can be interpreted in some way.
Just forget about it.
10 stone is not bad.

JumpingJackSprat Thu 06-Mar-14 22:06:11

Way way too oversensitive.

kotinka Thu 06-Mar-14 22:07:29

"not bad" is as complimentary as some people get. For what it's worth, I'd love to be tall and slim like you, go you!!!

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Mar-14 22:08:16

I think you're being very oversensitive

If she had taken your blood pressure and said the same thing, would you still be upset?

almostheadgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:08:22

No, Fantissue, I certainly wasn't looking for a ''well done'' (er, bit harsh) or anything of the sort. Just a simple 'that's fine' or something similar - much like she would say if your BP was normal, or urine results were normal. Thought it an odd thing to say and it sounded a tad ambiguous to me.

purplemurple1 Thu 06-Mar-14 22:10:31

Cricky at your weight and height and presumably age (assume you're not a teen) if anything I'd think she thought you should be a little heavier.

almostheadgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:11:04

Quietlysuggests - you're probably right.

Wantsunshine Thu 06-Mar-14 22:11:49

She was probably jealous!

Smoorikins Thu 06-Mar-14 22:12:16

What's wrong with 'not bad'?

edwinbear Thu 06-Mar-14 22:13:44

I'm 5ft 6 and weigh 9st 9lbs. I had my BUPA medical on Tuesday and was told I am in the healthy, normal range for my height. So you would be at the lower end of the healthy range at a guess.

almostheadgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:15:05

Smoorikins - to me, ''not bad'' just sounds quite ambiguous. As I said, I maybe am being over-sensitive (and by the replies, I see I am).

Anonymai Thu 06-Mar-14 22:19:38

When I joined my last surgery, the nurse weighed me and said, "oh. Don't you watch your weight?" I should have taken it as a sign of things to come.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Thu 06-Mar-14 22:22:31

I know people who use 'not bad' as a deliberately understated compliment. As your bmi is in the ideal range I imagine it was a compliment!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Thu 06-Mar-14 22:23:09

X post with everyone!

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 06-Mar-14 22:25:37


At 5ft 9in and 10 stone you're slim.

It was an understated compliment.

And this whole thing may or may not be a stealth boast.

almostheadgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:31:24

Thanks for your honesty everyone. I maybe need to toughen up, and get more sleep...
alisvolatproplis, I can see how it might read that way...but all I can say is I promise it really isn't. I genuinely felt a bit hurt but I can see how I was maybe being overly sensitive.

PicaK Thu 06-Mar-14 22:34:27

Isn't"not bad" just the British equivaent of saying "yeah fabulous, well done".

almostheadgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 22:38:35

Ha PicaK, that made me smile!

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 06-Mar-14 22:39:42

Sorry op, that read in a less jovial way than I intended it to blush

pyjamaramadrama Thu 06-Mar-14 22:42:33

She won't have known you've been working at it and probably meant nothing other than it's not a bad weight.

For what it's worth I think 5"9 and 10 stone is fantastic, I'm 5"6 and 10 stone I wish I was lovely and tall like you.

littleducks Thu 06-Mar-14 22:43:02

at my check the nurse looked surprised at the scales and said 'ooh mummy is heavy' to my kids

Twitches2 Fri 07-Mar-14 11:44:16

Almostheadgirl - don't feel bad: I am six foot tall and weighed 12.5 stone - stood on scales with nurse, telling her I was steadily losing weight and, whilst I was within healthy weight range, my goal at Weightwatchers was 12 stone on the dot.

Her exact words were: "Well you don't want to go any lower than that, cause it'd look awful 'cause of your big joints"

TulipOHare Fri 07-Mar-14 11:49:30

No, I get you OP, I'd have taken "not bad" the wrong way too, ie "could be better". I'm sure she didn't mean it that way, though, given that you are undeniably on the light side for your height.

BarbarianMum Fri 07-Mar-14 11:53:00

Round my way, 'not bad' is used as an understated compliment. It confuses my SiL (from California) who is used to more direct and effusive praise. smile

FabBakerGirl Fri 07-Mar-14 11:56:12

"Not bad" does insinuate that it isn't good though so I think you aren't being over sensitive. She could have said you have done well to lose the baby weight or just said nothing at all. Why she thinks she cares what you think......

BumWad Fri 07-Mar-14 11:58:15

Stealth boast

Floggingmolly Fri 07-Mar-14 12:00:37

"Not bad" is not quite ambiguous at all confused. Short of a round of applause and a brass band playing in the lobby on the way out; what exactly were you expecting?
It sounds to me that you're more insulted at her failure to pay due homage to your hard work in getting your weight down, than the fact that it was an insult per se.

OpalQuartz Fri 07-Mar-14 12:04:32

She was probably on auto pilot and said it without really thinking. Probably says it to most people who aren't huge.

DeWe Fri 07-Mar-14 12:14:56

My df (who does a lot of sport and is careful what he eats) came back put out from a colesterol test once. They'd looked at the result and said "not bad". He'd wanted the statement "For someone of your age that is amazing" grin

Latara Fri 07-Mar-14 12:20:45

''Not bad'' is actually a compliment. It means ''good''.

FFS nurses can't say anything right. Maybe we should just all say nothing.

Topseyt Fri 07-Mar-14 12:24:44

I really wish I could ever get down to 10 stone, and I am nowhere near your height.

Don't let it bother you. Some people are just not effusive with their praise, so maybe that was all it was. The phrase "praise from xx is praise indeed" could apply to her.

FWIW, "Not bad" from me is the equivalent of "that's good". And "that's great" from me is like someone else going "wow, fantastic".

And I know I'm not the only one.

I nearly always understate something rather than overstate it like the American fashion for going "awesome" for something that's barely adequate

So I wouldn't get too upset about the comment. You did say she said it with a smile, so to me that means she was happy about it, not dismissive.

kilmuir Fri 07-Mar-14 12:55:30

I am at least a stone overweight. Auxillary weighed me and tutted about less of those cream cakes might be a good idea. Told her it was a bit rich coming from her. She was as broad as she was tall!

crikeybill Fri 07-Mar-14 13:11:43

Not bad with a smile is fine. Bloody hell what was she meant to say!

" well done you look amaaaaaizing you skinny mare you !! "

oh and....cough.....stealthboast....cough...

Pollyputthekettle Fri 07-Mar-14 14:00:59

YABU and a bit daft. It's not as though she reeled back on horror and exclaimed "hey fatty boom boom!" grin

Gruntfuttock Fri 07-Mar-14 14:04:49

kilmuir "I am at least a stone overweight. Auxillary weighed me and tutted about less of those cream cakes might be a good idea. Told her it was a bit rich coming from her. She was as broad as she was tall!"

What did she say to that, kilmuir?

innisglas Fri 07-Mar-14 14:10:09

You are sleep deprived, poor thing. You are a new patient, she doesn't even know if you have weight issues. Actually you sound on the thin side, I hope you haven't overdone the dieting because that might be affecting how you feel too

RedFocus Fri 07-Mar-14 14:20:44

I think you'll find that she probably thinks your heading for being underweight. As long as you are not intending to lose anymore you'll be fine.
Well done for losing the baby weight! grin

TheReluctantCountess Fri 07-Mar-14 14:22:36

I agree that it's a stealth boast.

MostlyMama Fri 07-Mar-14 14:39:36

I think you are nitpicking for something to find offence at tbh.

purplebaubles Fri 07-Mar-14 14:41:45

I would say that's skinny for your height!

Probably jealous grin

higgle Fri 07-Mar-14 14:41:48

Why did she not just ask your weight? Recently a locum GP at m practice asked me to step on the scales. I told him my weight and said I didn't appreciate being treated as if I couldn't be trusted.

Katinkia Fri 07-Mar-14 15:26:49

Stop showing off! hmm

formerbabe Fri 07-Mar-14 16:01:11

YANBU. I am 5'3'' and wish I weighed ten stone (which would be at the top end of my healthy range). At 5'9'', you must be very slim at 10 stone. Nurse sounds like a cheeky mare to me!

DomesticDisgrace Fri 07-Mar-14 16:56:23

Oh ffs!

WorraLiberty Fri 07-Mar-14 18:05:07

Why did she not just ask your weight? Recently a locum GP at m practice asked me to step on the scales. I told him my weight and said I didn't appreciate being treated as if I couldn't be trusted.

That's weird

It's got nothing to do with trust.

How can he be sure your scales are accurate?

maddening Fri 07-Mar-14 18:07:00

crikey I dream of 10 stone and am 5'8"

absolutely well done on your weightless and ignore the comment

Anonymai Fri 07-Mar-14 18:07:21

I agree. Bit odd! I expect my doctors scales are more accurate than my cheapy tesco £10 ones!

Suzyjane1 Fri 07-Mar-14 18:08:50

Gosh. Try having MIL tell you (when you're heavily pregnant) that "you'll probably need a crane to lift you up".. Who gives a flying monkey what the nurse thinks. If you're in normal range, and there are no medical reasons for her to comment, then brush it off. She's not paid to be a fashion guru and therefore her opinion is invalid. Of course, she was probably not meaning anything at all.

RalphRecklessCardew Fri 07-Mar-14 18:14:09

Um. This might be a bit tactless, but do you have a history of eating disorders? Because there is no way that 5'9'' and 10 stone is anything other than very slim.

SpinningFates Fri 07-Mar-14 18:56:08

YANBU. Nurses need to keep any comments, good or bad to themselves.

SpinningFates Fri 07-Mar-14 18:58:00

I wouldn't expect the scales to be accurate anyway, unless they have been checked by a Weights and Measures Inspector.

NurseyWursey Fri 07-Mar-14 19:24:47

I used to always say things like 'not bad', but then read a textbook about using positive language, and how sentences with negative language like 'not bad' can make people uneasy. It's better to just say a simple 'good' or 'okay'.

I think it is being oversensitive, but obviously a few people feel that way.

NurseyWursey Fri 07-Mar-14 19:26:03

YANBU. Nurses need to keep any comments, good or bad to themselves

Can I ask why? Are nurses beneath commenting now? or do you think we aren't educated enough to know what is good or bad?

Tiredemma Fri 07-Mar-14 19:29:08

YANBU. Nurses need to keep any comments, good or bad to themselves.


Unless my patients have developed a skill of reading my mind, I cant see how this will be of any benefit. How does it work?

And most importantly - am I not worthy of making any comments?

NurseyWursey Fri 07-Mar-14 19:34:24

Obviously we're just there to clean bedpans and take notes hmm

Tiredemma Fri 07-Mar-14 19:36:54

and nod enthusiastically to the Dr.

WaitMonkey Fri 07-Mar-14 19:40:55

Massively over thinking this. She didn't mean anything.

almostheadgirl Fri 07-Mar-14 20:25:53

Thanks everyone and sorry for the delay in reply...blame said babies! Ok, so I can see the consensus is leaning towards me being unreasonable....fair enough...your posts have been really helpful, if some a bit harsh most very sensible. Again, I reiterate, I promise it is not in any way a stealth boast. I am genuinely pretty ok with my weight, body image etc, but like lots of women I guess I just felt a bit less content than I maybe should given that of course my body isn't the same post babies. And I'm ok with that, honest, I have 2 beautiful healthy children whom I'm grateful for every day. But still, I think we all have a wobble every now and again about our appearance or weight, surely??! And I still think a 'that's fine' or just saying nothing would have been more appropriate. If she had said my BP was 'not bad' I would've asked if it was high or if there was a problem, as to me that expression sounds negative. BUT, I can see from the replies that seemingly lots of people use this as 'understatement' so I guess that sort of makes sense! In conclusion, I have given this waaaay too much thought, sorry if it all sounded a bit daft, it just got to me at the time...need more sleep. Thanks again.

Coumarin Fri 07-Mar-14 20:30:36

If anything maybe she was expecting your weight to be under and was pleased it was in the healthy range. I really don't think she meant anything by it at all. In that profession if she had any concerns whatsoever she would come straight out with them. Ime nurses don't beat about the bush.

Hope you feel better tomorrow and manage to get some rest. thanks

almostheadgirl Fri 07-Mar-14 20:32:48

Thanks coumartin, that's very kind.

SpinningFates Fri 07-Mar-14 21:06:04

I'm a nurse. I don't think that it is necessary to comment on a patient's weight.

BarbarianMum Fri 07-Mar-14 22:27:40

Then why weigh them?

SpinningFates Fri 07-Mar-14 22:34:07

QOF points.

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